Luxury Design: 5 Categories of Interior Lighting

The design of custom luxury homes involves thousands of decisions that go far beyond the floor plan. Interior lighting is one of the most transformational elements in a house, possessing the potential to optimize the view, showcase the architecture, and elevate your lifestyle—all with the flick of a switch. Like great artwork, light and shade play a pivotal role in defining the mood and lifestyle of the home. 

When styling your home, you need to consider two primary categories of lighting: natural light and artificial light.

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Natural Light

Sunlight is the most natural, organic light source available, and we have it in abundance here on the Florida Gulf Coast. A home flooded with sunlight looks bright, elegant, and cheerful. Your home's layout and positioning on the lot will determine how and where light enters and at what point in the day. Here in Manatee County, window coverings are necessary to help control how much light and heat come into the home and to reduce glare.

Design tip: Rooms exposed to little natural light can use mirrors to reflect the sun's rays across the space for optimal effect.

Combustion light is also considered natural and may include candlelight and the glow from a fireplace. While these types of lighting are less utilized in Florida custom homes, fireplaces, in particular, are prominent in luxury outdoor seating areas. 

Artificial Light

Artificial lighting can add interest, layers, and texture to your space, helping to define the overall interior design style. It creates zones, manages the perception of room size, and focuses on areas you wish to showcase. 

5 Lighting Categories for Your Home

Consider these five lighting categories when strategizing your lighting scheme and creating your preferred style.

General lighting infusesa uniform glow that illuminates a space for functional purposes. General lighting is typically direct and often controlled with a dimmer switch to adjust for changes in daylight. Luxury general lighting frequently creates a visual focal point, whether a central pendant light or a crystal chandelier. While providing a functional starting point, general lighting is rarely considered adequate on its own. 

Ambient Lighting works in tandem with general lighting to entirely illuminate a room. The primary difference between the two types of lighting is that while general lighting provides practical, everyday interior lighting, ambient lighting is adjusted to rise to an occasion. Ambient lighting is softer and less direct. It creates drama and is often used when entertaining. 

Task Lighting is installed to support a specific task, such as food preparation or completing paperwork. Task lights must possess strong wattage and deliver bright illumination - and are used most often in kitchens, bathrooms, and office spaces. Examples of this type of lighting may include lamps, mirror lighting, or downlights over a preparation island. 

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Mood Lighting is as integral to the design of a room as general lighting, creating warmth and gentle illumination to dissipate the shadows that result from other light sources. Mood lighting is more concerned with style than functionand it is usually the layer of lighting nearest to eye level. Halogen and LED bulbs are the contemporary options for lighting due to affordability, longevity, and energy efficiency. Lower wattage bulbs are best for mood lighting, as the desired effect is a soft glow, not a harsh, bright light. 

Accent Lighting is similar to task lighting in that ithas a specific function - that is, to highlight a particular feature in the room. High wattage is typically utilized for these types of applications, such as putting a spotlight on a favorite piece of artwork. 

Each type of lighting plays its part in creating a home's overall style and function. 

Trust Your Custom Home Design to Bruce Williams Homes 

The professionals at Bruce Williams Homes have been helping clients to build and design gorgeous custom homes for nearly half a century. From blueprints to final finishes, our team is here to build your dream. 

If you are considering a new home build or renovation in Sarasota or Manatee County, browse our current project galleries - then call our team

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